Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lament of an Adoptive Mom

Oh magnificent, world-renown, chair of your mega-university department,  multiple doctorate neurologist may I kindly suggest that the next time your intake nurse hands you a new patient chart that you actually take a few moments to review it's contents?? I know your day is packed from dawn to dusk...I waited weeks to get this appointment...but a brief scan of a file surely wouldn't be too much to ask, right?

And even if it has been a day that has spun out of control and your schedule has been turned on it's ear leaving no time to read the intake histories....could you take a deep breath and actually LOOK at the patient sitting before your eyes? Could you notice her age and maybe construct your questions to acknowledge her presence? She really could have told you her birth date and age....which were also in the chart that you did not read. She would have been happy to explain why we were sitting in your examining room. But, okay I get the wanting the adult to provide the information so I'll cut you a break on that point....but I CANNOT cut you slack on persisting on your line of predetermined questions about pre-natal, post-natal, and milestone achievements when our answer to the very FIRST in the line of questions was, "She was adopted at three years of age from Guatemala."

Several doctorate degrees and you don't get...what? The concept of adoption? The concept of a known history beginning at THREE years of age? The concept of obtaining accurate records from a third world country? I speak a fairly competent level of the English language. Did medical school teach you that by repeatedly re-framing and repeating the questions in a louder, more enunciated manner magically unlock the mysteries of the universe?

I am in awe of your neuroanatomical knowledge. I am impressed by the diagnostic testing you conducted. I'm pleased with the proposed treatment plan. But I seethe at your deplorable 'bedside' manner with an older, international adoptee. She is already acutely aware of the loss in her life. She is acutely aware of how 'different' she is from your other patients. No matter how or how often you ask her age at first roll or age at first sit she will NEVER know those answers! She UNDERSTANDS ENGLISH!! She can HEAR what you are saying to me. She can HEAR your questions. She can HEAR your opinions. She is a real live, walking, talking, breathing, FEELING human being who, if you had taken the time to read her chart, was adopted!  It's pretty early in the dictionary...A.D.O.P.T.E.D........maybe you can find a minute between publishing one of your many studies to read the definition? She probably won't be the last adopted patient you have in your illustrious career so for their sake, read up since you seem to have too big of an ego to listen to an earnest bit of advice offered by a lowly unaffiliated single doctorate Mom.


  1. How awful! So sorry for you and your sweet girl for having to put up with that. :-(

  2. Thats really too bad, I know it will happen all through her life but as a teenager its just so much harder to be labeled different. What crap seriousley maybe you should write a letter just to let them know that they could do a whole hell of alot better.
    I know I will dread the sheet changes so for this time I put them on and then we tossed the mattress up there.
    Maya is very excited for Benjamin's baby shower where she will be introducing her new brother, they will be wearing their shirts, I will try and take a picture before we go.

  3. How crummy - I feel ike we have run into this time and time again - from people that are more than over educated. So sorry. Did you have a good come back?